In some ways fair day is the least fabulous event of all of Mardi Gras -“ part primary school fete, part daggy doggy show, big gay day out. And that’s probably why it’s the one that sums us up best. It’s the event that says to the wider world, we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re a really big, diverse, but actually quite ordinary group of people.
This year’s will be a fair day with all the traditions -“ dogs, families, straights, queers and (hopefully) lots of sun.
Sunday is going to be a big day for Sydney’s gay and lesbian family, New Mardi Gras fair day co-chair Lynne O’Brien says.
There will be everything from impromptu drag numbers on the uni steps and whip-cracking displays to dance lessons, volleyball and lube wrestling.
More than 200 stall-holders have signed on for Sunday’s event, and performances will take place on two stages and a number of smaller stages and tents.
The main stage will feature self-defence displays, flamenco performers and men’s and women’s lube wrestling. An Oz Showbiz Cares, Equity Fights AIDS cabaret stage near the lake will give show queens a chance to have their favourite show tune performed by a range of famous faces and voices for a small donation.
Some of Sydney’s best DJs will play in the Lord Roberts Hotel lounge tent. They won’t just be mixing -“ Kelly Lynch, who turns 30 on the day, will perform an acoustic set with Alex McKinnon and Bridie O’Brien before handing over the tent to Garry Tee, Junior B and Kate Monroe, among others.
Fresh from his performance at the Mardi Gras launch, long-time DJ Richard Weiss will perform all day in the ACON tent.
The food and wine alley will feature all the usual favourites, as well as a Verushka Darling wine-spitting competition. And the Scooter stage will feature a line-up of young bands.
Fair day favourite Doggywood returns in 2003, with free vets, free baths, and free samples of super-flash dog food. There will be a dogs’ paddling pool, dancing and competition for all dogs great and small (but still great).
The Squirt Flirts at the Squirt Stuff For Dogs stand will give all dirty dogs a going over in mobile hydrobaths.
For those who don’t know, the Doggywood competitions are no Best In Show -“ one of the past winners was a chicken. The dog that gets the most attention from other dog walkers will win one category, the dog wearing the most leather or sequins will win another and the best performing dog competition could be won by just about anyone with a fancy enough trick.
Doggywood sponsors Purina Petcare and organisers have called for volunteers to donate time and talent helping the dogs in and out of the paddling pool and just making sure everything runs smoothly.
Fair Day is happening this Sunday 16 February at Victoria Park, Camperdown, from 10:30am to 5pm. The route 69 bus will run between Oxford St and Victoria Park on the day.
To volunteer at Doggywood call Iain on 8870 3829.
11am Self-defence display on main stage; bands start performing on Scooter stage
11:30am Lord Roberts Hotel lounge tent opens
11:30am First Doggywood heats begin
Noon Dance lessons and displays start on the open air performance stage
12:30pm Second Doggywood heats begin
1pm Mr and Ms Fair Day heats
2pm Second Mr and Ms Fair Day heats begin
2:30pm Final Doggywood heats begin
3:40pm Doggywood’s Miss Puppy Awards ceremony
4:30pm Girls and boys lube wrestling on the main stage.